Bible Study Recap – Isaiah 17-20

And the discussion of Isaiah continues!  I actually am enjoying this study so much that I felt compelled to use the lectionary text from Isaiah on Easter Sunday. :) We didn’t meet this morning because of a funeral, but here are last week’s notes …

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Bible Study Weekly Recap
March 31, 2015
Isaiah Week 7 {Isaiah 17-20}

Isaiah 17

Ephraim

  • Ephraim was one of Israel’s tribe
  • It was a tribe trying to make a pact

Isaiah 17:7
In that day people will look to their Maker
and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.

  • Is there hope for us to turn back to God?

Isaiah 17:8
They will not look to the altars,
the work of their hands,
and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles[a]
and the incense altars their fingers have made.

  • This is referring to the worship of pagan Gods.
  • Do we do the same thing today? We may not worship pagan Gods, but there are pieces of our society that we choose to center our lives around instead of God.
  • As human beings, sometimes we need something tangible to put our faith in – we do this today and this is nothing new.

Isaiah 17:10
You have forgotten God your Savior;
you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.

  • We cannot forget! We have to be constantly be intentional about putting God first.

Isaiah 18

Cush

  • Cush is south of Egypt along the Nile
  • Sometimes referred to as “Ethiopia” or “Nubia”
  • This is about alliances

Alliances à Unity

  • This chapter really has a shift in mood from talking about alliances to talking about unity.
  • Instead of trying to other nations “on their side” the language changes to nations being “united as one”

Isaiah 18:7
At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord Almighty
from a people tall and smooth-skinned,
from a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
whose land is divided by rivers—
the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the Lord Almighty.

  • This is a very powerful – there is a different tone in this passage from the tone of destruction that we have been hearing – a tone of hope.

Isaiah 19

Emphasizes God’s power

  • “melt with fear” (v.1)
  • fighting against once another (v.2)
  • “cruel master” (v.4)
  • “groan and lament” (v.8)

Isaiah 19:16-25

  • 5 oracles/announcements close this chapter

Isaiah 19:20
It will be a sign and witness to the Lord Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them.

  • Egypt has to put their faith in God, not in anything else
  • This is a bold promise of hope – not just to the Egyptians, but also to us now. How are we crying out to God?

Isaiah 20

Dissolving Alliance

  • The Egypt/Cush alliance is going to fall apart – a reminder to rely on God, not on human alliances!

Stripped & Barefoot Imagery

  • You cannot solely rely on human alliances!
  • You have to put your trust in God.

General Thoughts and Discussion Questions

  • What sorts of ways do we rely on human alliances instead of putting our trust in God?
  • What changes can we make in our lives and in our culture to put our trust more fully in God?

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